Goodbye Jussi. It’s been emotional.
Afternoon all. The end of May has approached and it is usually about this time of the year that I give you a load of questions to answer and then sod off on my hols for a month.
Not yet, too much going on. Contracts extended without anyone knowing, people rejecting contracts. Yes, it’s all go down T’Reebok. They’re even shutting the shop for the rebranding to Adidas. Don’t worry though, you can still renew your season ticket to take in the delights of Barnsley at home on a Wednesday in January.
It does seem strange that the club managed to tie down LCY to a new contract without telling anyone at all that they had managed it. Nothing reported on the official site, nothing reported in the Bolton News (and you would have thought that it would be). It was as if this was a closed secret amongst the bowels of the family club.
I know that there were other things on the club’s mind when it came to LCY but, as a mainstay of the team, the player of the year a couple of seasons back and someone who would have been coveted by people injured or not, relegated or not, it is veryu strange that the club didn’t announce it. In a season of bad news, this would have been a beacon of light.
That he remains non commital on the subject is another matter, but it does give us a stronger hand if he wishes to leave. As it is, I can’t see anyone coming in for him on the basis that he has missed the vast majority of the season and we won’t know what the long term effects of the injury, if any, will be until August.
However, I did say the same thing about Jussi, that he wouldn’t leave and all that. Family ties and fourteen years would see him live out the rest of his contract relaxing on the bench and having the odd Carling Cup game. Well, how wrong I was. Fourteen years, countless flaps at crosses, many dodgy distributions and over five hundred appearances later, placing him fifth in the all time list, Jussi appears to have cut his ties with the club as the two West’s,
Fred and Rose Brom and Ham come sniffing.
To be fair to the Big Finn, if he wanted to extend his career and play more, it was probably best that he do it away from T’Reebok. Unless Bogdan had a major crisis, it was a fair bet that Jussi wouldn’t get his place back and, with Lainton and Lynch breathing down his neck, there was a chance that he could be third choice by next summer.
As with Ricardo Gardner, there is a real sense of an end of an era with Jussi going. SKD now becomes our longest serving player, and he wasn’t there when we were promoted, or through those first two seasons of struggle. SKD represents the beginning of the golden era of Jay Jay, Djorkaeff and Campo (although Youri was with us in that second season).
How Jussi will cope in the Premier League is another matter. You hope for the best, but fear the worst in a way. But we have covered that enough times recently to not go on about it again.
So, thanks Jussi and good luck. Somehow, the place won’t seem the same without you.
And with that, we will bid you goodbye for today. Gil may return tomorrow. You never know.